The Sweet Girl soundtrack includes songs by Guns N’ Roses, Tom Waits and Sharon Van Etten. This info article contains spoilers for Brian Andrew Mendoza’s 2021 Netflix movie, including details about a major third act reveal. Take a look at more music guides in Vague Visages’ Soundtracks of Cinema section.
Sweet Girl stars Jason Momoa as Ray Cooper, a Pittsburgh resident who seeks revenge against a Big Pharma company. Isabela Merced co-stars as Rachel Cooper, Ray’s teenage daughter who struggles to deal with emotional trauma. Supervised by Andrea von Foerster (Yellowstone), the Sweet Girl soundtrack includes four songs that link to a late-movie twist. See below for a Soundtracks of Cinema breakdown.
Sweet Girl Soundtrack: Sweet Child O’ Mine (00:03:30)
Released as a single by Guns N’ Roses in 1988, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is used as a musical motif in Sweet Girl. It’s initially sung by Ray’s wife, Amanda (Adria Arjona), during a flashback camping sequence, and then Rachel hums it to her sick mother in a hospital room at 00:11:00. By the 84-minute mark, Merced’s character sings the song to conjure the spirit of her father, with the big twist being that Ray actually died after the first-act train attack. The opening lyrics of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ reflect Rachel’s perspective while dealing with emotional trauma: “She’s got a smile that it seems to me / Reminds me of childhood memories / Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky.”
Sweet Girl Soundtrack: “And It’s Still Alright” by Nathaniel Rateliff (00:14:00)
Six months after Amanda’s death, Ray’s emotions become overwhelming during a workout. “And It’s Still Alright’ plays as Momoa’s character breaks down while hitting a punching bag, and then continues during an exterior car sequence. Sweet Girl emphasizes the lyric “Then you’ll find it gets worse,” which teases future conflict and also the big twist.
Sweet Girl Soundtrack: “Day After Tomorrow” by Tom Waits (00:35:00)
“Day After tomorrow’ scores a car sequence in Sweet Girl. As Ray drives and urges his daughter to communicate, Rachel looks out the window with a morose look on her face. In the moment, the lyrics suggest that better times are ahead for the Coopers. By the end, though, it’s revealed that Rachel is actually driving and thinking about her dead father.
Sweet Girl Soundtrack: “The End of the World” by Sharon Van Etten (01:07:00)
In Sweet Girl, Rachel and Ray stop at Roxy’s Diner to confront the assassin Amos Santos. “The End of the World’ plays lightly as Momoa’s character enters the restaurant and explains his intentions. For Rachel, she’s retreating deeper into her memories, evidenced by the climactic reveal that it was she who spoke with Amos.
The Sweet Girl soundtrack also includes “Fake News” by Rob Arbelo and “Leave My Head Alone Brain” by Bugge Wesseltoft & Henrik Schwarz.
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.